Character Emote Creation
This is a short tutorial on creating your very own character emotes that could be used in the shout box. Or if you prefer this thread can be a place where you are able to display your creations.
The main rule here is if your creation(s) are to be used in the shout box they MUST be no larger than 40x40 pixels. An occasional one of a maximum size of 50x50 needs to be approved by one of the staff members prior to displaying in the shout box.
It is assumed that you have a graphics program and are familiar with its use. However, I have listed a couple of free programs below for those who need one. Your program must be able to save in the .gif format in order for it to be used as an emote because of how it saves with transparency.
A graphics program of your choice.
A few good free ones you can use are:
GIMP – Found Here
Paint.Net – Found Here
First choose the picture or screenshot that you wish to use to make your character. I will use this one in our example.
Next you will want to trim the area to be used as close to what your emote will be. This way when you are erasing the portions that are not going to be part of the emote, you won’t have large areas to work with. It also helps so that the size when finished will be easily reduced to 40x40.
Taking the picture above I have trimmed it to this:
As you can see I trimmed it just above her hair at the top, just off her ears on the side and just below her chin.
The next step is to erase all of the background that is not to be in your emote. Use your eraser button or icon to select the eraser and proceed to erase the background. Below is what my erased areas look like when I am finished:
GIMP users - it is important that before you erase the unwanted portions of your picture that you go to Layer, then Transparency, Add Alpha Channel. Once you do this you can then erase the unwanted portions of your picture. This is how you achieve the transparency needed at the final product.
After going through all the remaining steps I found that the hair hanging down on both sides took away the shape of her head and proved to be a distraction so I erased more until I was satisfied with what the end result would be. This is what this stage looked like before I continued on:
The main thing about the above picture is that the idea of the emote is to highlight your character’s face. When the above picture is reduced to a 40x40 pixel size the face will stand out and the missing hair ends won’t even be noticeable. Sometimes you have to use trial and error to get the desired effect.
The next step when you have erased all that you don’t want in the final product is to reduce the image to 40x40. Most programs click on “Image” and then “resize” and make sure to keep proportions checked so it doesn’t get distorted. After this step out picture looks like this:
We’re almost done now. After resizing your image the next step is to save it as a gif.
I’m using Photoshop and you should see the following menus and popup boxes. I’ll go back and check with GIMP and see if the steps are the same. The most important part of saving to .gif format is that it is set for transparency. So with that we have:
GIMP users - To save your file in .gif format when you select save as gif you will get a popup like this: Tell it to Export.
You will then get another window like this. Uncheck the Gif Comment Box and save.
With your file saved now all you need to do is go to your favorite photo/image storage site and upload your file there. I use Photobucket.com. Use whatever site you are comfortable with.
Now that you have gone through all this trouble I’m sure you would like to see what your emote looks like. Start a new post (preferably in this thread) and post a link to your image file on whatever site you use. Be sure to attach the correct tags to your link so that the image will be displayed. if you are only using the web address without the "img" tags you can use the built in editor here by clicking on the image tag in the editing bar and putting your webaddress there and it will automatically add the appropriate tags for you . If you are using Photobucket.com you have the option of copying with the img already attached and it is only a matter or pasting it in the message body. By doing that you should see your image. Ours from this tutorial looks like this:
NOTE : If you wish to make smilie faces, the standard size for smiley faces is 30 to 32 in height.